Posts Tagged ‘national eating disorder awareness’

Recovery

Eating Disorder Awareness- Recovery

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist and am not trained in eating disorder treatment or prevention. I struggled with disordered eating/eating disorders for 12 years and I am now in recovery. My purpose behind writing these posts is to start the conversation about eating disorders, cialis which continue to be misunderstood and stigmatized, treat  share my experience with those who have eating disorders or know others who do, treat and to hopefully give some clarity and understanding about these complicated and dangerous diseases. I also want to give hope that recovery is possible!
Trigger warnings: In all of my posts about eating disorders, I try to be very sensitive and avoid triggering language. However, the reality is that I am talking about eating disorder thoughts and behaviors and recognize that these posts could trigger people struggling with EDs. If you think that these posts could be the least bit triggering for you, please do not read them. The last thing I want to do is to set anyone back in their recovery process.

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Who you are and what you struggle with are not the same thing.

This statement it true, but when you are struggling with an eating disorder, it doesn’t feel true.

When I was struggling with my eating disorder, I lost who I was. I couldn’t separate myself from it—we were the same.

The scariest part of recovery for me was not the idea of gaining weight or losing my long-time coping mechanisms…don’t get me wrong, those things were absolutely terrifying. But there was something that was even harder for me to face and that was the reality that I didn’t know who I was without my eating disorder. I was scared of losing my identity.

And the idea that your eating disorder gives you your identity is such a lie from the Enemy—no one but the Lord gives you your identity. And while I knew that with my mind, I didn’t feel it in my heart. Twelve years of hearing the lies of the Enemy had given them such a hold over me.

As I entered into recovery, the eating disorder and I started to separate. Instead of it being a part of me, it stood right behind me, breathing down my neck. But it was a start. As I walked further into recovery the eating disorder was pushed further back behind me. It could still talk to me, but the voice grew quieter as it was pushed further away. Sometimes it was so far behind me that I couldn’t hear its shouts anymore. And sometimes something would happen that pushed it right behind me again.

There’s an argument between psychologists whether or not people can ever be recovered from their eating disorder, or if they will always be “in recovery.” I absolutely one hundred percent believe that full and final recovery is possible not only because I have met people who consider themselves recovered, but most of all because I love a God with whom all impossible things become possible.

In this post I talked about how God promised me that the year 2013 would be the year of my recovery and praise God it was! I saw such amazing freedom in the year 2013 and as it got closer to the New Year, I got more and more excited about full freedom. But the Lord also warned me—He warned me that just because I knew recovery was coming didn’t mean that the Enemy would respect it one bit. And let me tell you, Satan has not respected my recovery.

On the morning of January 1st, 2014, I got up and was so excited! Yeah freedom! I went downstairs, made breakfast, and when I put the first bit of food in my mouth I had the strongest urge to use an old ED behavior. And you know what I did? I said, “Well, that’s not who I am anymore!” finished that bite of food and the rest of my breakfast, and then I praised God for His faithfulness!

I currently consider myself in recovery, not quite to the point of recovered, only because I have to continue to be on high alert for any ED thoughts or behaviors that enter my life. But I know that the status of recovered is in my future. I am confident of it because in the past year God has taught me who I am in Him. Any anytime Satan tries to tell me otherwise, I can look him in the face and say I am a new creation in Christ! He has made me new and I will never forget my identity in Him. The parts of me that fell away along with my eating disorder were not core parts of my identity. I did lose things with the loss of my eating disorder–I lost depression, anxiety, and bitterness. And it turns out, I was just fine letting go of those things.

Eating disorder recovery statistics are discouraging. But Praise the Lord that He is not a respecter of statistics. After 12 years of battling an eating disorder I didn’t think that I would ever recover. And yet I have :) If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, don’t give up on recovery! No matter how long you’ve been battling this disease, you can win.

If you want to learn more about eating disorders, click here to read more posts I’ve written about the issue :)

What Causes Eating Disorders? Biological, Social, Psychological, and Spiritual Factors

eating disorder awareness-what causes eating disorders? Biological, <a href=page Social, troche Psychological, and Spiritual Factors” src=”http://www.heismakingeverythingnew.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/eating-disorder-awareness-what-causes-eating-disorders-Biological-Social-Psychological-and-Spiritual-Factors.jpg&#8221; width=”600″ height=”600″ />

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist and am not trained in eating disorder treatment or prevention. I struggled with disordered eating/eating disorders for 12 years and I am now in recovery. My purpose behind writing these posts is to start the conversation about eating disorders, which continue to be misunderstood and stigmatized, share my experience with those who have eating disorders or know others who do, and to hopefully give some clarity and understanding about these complicated and dangerous diseases. I also want to give hope that recovery is possible!
Trigger warnings: In all of my posts about eating disorders, I try to be very sensitive and avoid triggering language. However, the reality is that I am talking about eating disorder thoughts and behaviors and recognize that these posts could trigger people struggling with EDs. If you think that these posts could be the least bit triggering for you, please do not read them. The last thing I want to do is to set anyone back in their recovery process.

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I believe that there is real spiritual warfare going on in and around us right now in this world, and I believe this for many reasons including the vast Biblical evidence and my own personal experience. As someone who has suffered from a variety of psychological disorders during my life and who is working to become a therapist, I frequently think about the intersection of psychological disorders and the battles taking place in the spiritual realm. While that is a topic way too big to address in this one post, and I honestly have not come to a complete conclusion of what I believe is the relationship between the demonic and psychological disorders, in this post I’m going to give you a few of my thoughts on why people get eating disorders.

So why do people struggle with eating disorders? Here are the three factors typically mentioned:

1. Biological factors there have been a lot of studies done that show the biological roots of eating disorders (here is just one study). Just as people can be born predisposed towards schizophrenia, alcoholism, and mood disorders, some people are born predisposed to developing eating disorders. Think about it this way: the vast majority of women in the U.S. will diet at least once in their lives, they are all exposed to similar media messages, they come from a variety of socioeconomic statues and family backgrounds, and yet there are estimated to be around 8-9 million women in the U.S. who suffer from eating disorders…that’s only about 3% of the population. So how is it that some women develop EDs and others don’t? Part of the answer is biology. It is estimated that 50-80% of the risk for developing EDs is due to genetic/biological factors.

2. Social Factors Just because you’re predisposed to eating disorders biologically doesn’t mean that you will necessarily have an ED at some point in your life. Social and environmental factors do play a sometimes very large role in the development of EDs. These factors might include things such as being emotionally, physically, or sexually abused, growing up in a high-pressure home where parents placed an emphasis on physical appearance or were always dieting, lack of healthy social friendships and relationships, being bullied, participating in a high-pressure activity such as modeling, the entertainment industry, or competitive dancing, etc. Sometimes these situations can “activate” a biological predisposition.

3. Psychological Factors- these factors include things like low self esteem and suffering from another mental disorder such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or OCD. There is also work being done to see what sort of temperament traits, such as perfectionism, could influence the onset of eating disorders.

I think one thing that is important to remember is that Christians have biological, social, and psychological factors that influence the onset of their eating disorders, just as non Christians do, which is why I’m a huge advocate for everyone with eating disorders to receive treatment from a psychologist who specializes in treating EDs or from a specialized treatment center. I see a troubling trend in the Church where Christians struggling with serious mental disorders receive prayer and perhaps some counseling from their pastor (who most likely doesn’t have a Masters or Ph.D in clinical psychology or mental health treatment) and then don’t get any treatment from trained professionals. Eating disorders are very real and dangerous diseases that typically require treatment.

PLEASE don’t hear me saying that prayer doesn’t really work and God doesn’t really heal because I absolutely know He does. It was God who ultimately brought me healing and recovery from my eating disorder (although the many years of therapy I had were absolutely elemental in the process), but I have also seen the Lord work to bring freedom through therapy. Healing is such a huge topic that I don’t have time to address now (and also don’t have all the answers to), but if you’re interested in some of my views about prayer and healing, read this post.

With that being said, do I believe that spiritual warfare plays a part in eating disorders in addition to the biological, social, and psychological factors? The short answer is yes, I do. Here’s a breakdown:

1. Biological factors- We live in a fallen world and as a result of that our bodies suffer in ways they were never intended to. I believe that living in a fallen world has messed with our bodies, meaning that biological predispositions to diseases, including eating disorders, are not something that God creates in people, but rather are a result of our broken world that He never wanted for us. With this perspective, you can say that Satan contributes to the onset of eating disorders because he is the one causing turmoil and brokenness in this world.

2. Social factors- I believe that the Bible teaches us that everyone has freewill to disobey the will of God. This means that people have the freewill to abuse people, bully people, pressure them, etc. The social factors that contribute to eating disorders are in no way ordained by God, but I do believe that they can be influenced by Satan. I believe that when people do evil things like abuse, assault, insult, or bully others, their actions can be influenced by the grip of Satan over their lives. Here is a post where I address the tension between good and evil in this world, including some ideas of why bad things happen.

3. Psychological factors- One psychological factor that influences the onset of eating disorders, as mentioned above, is the presence of other mental disorders. I believe that Satan can and does influence these other disorders just as he does eating disorders. Another major aspect of eating disorders is low self esteem and the unhealthy thought life that accompanies low self esteem. In my post What an Eating Disorder Sounds Like, I shared the constant mental struggle I was faced with every single day as I battled my eating disorder. This is where I most saw the demonic most manifest itself in my eating disorder struggle. I am not sure if I would say that Satan caused my eating disorder–I think my ED was the result of my mind and body doing the best they could to protect me from some pretty terrible things happening in my life by giving me a coping mechanism. But whether or not my eating disorder was directly caused by the work of the Enemy, it was absolutely maintained and worsened by the work of Satan. The terrible things I thought about myself and the hatred I had towards my very being were from the Enemy. Satan was so entrenched in my mind that he was able to make me believe in my heart that God did not love me anymore. Healing from my eating disorder consisted of replacing disordered coping mechanisms and attitudes about food with healthy ones, but the deepest work of healing happened in my soul where I had to allow the Lord to speak truth into my life. My real recovery came with the reestablishment of my relationship with God and with me holding firmly to the truth that I am loved, adored, and known by God.

What are your thoughts about the causes of eating disorders? Do you think that the spiritual realm affects things in our world like psychological disorders?

To learn more about eating disorders, read some more of my posts on the topic by clicking here.